The shares of Campbell Soup Company have decreased by more than -12.12% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 0.71% or $0.3 and now trades at $42.28. The shares of Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ), has jumped by 30.13% year to date as of 08/09/2018. The shares currently trade at $27.10 and have been able to report a change of 16.06% over the past one week.

The stock of Campbell Soup Company and Zumiez Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Thursday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

**Next 5Y EPS Growth: -1.20% versus 20.35%**

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that CPB will grow it’s earning at a -1.20% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to ZUMZ which will have a positive growth at a 20.35% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of ZUMZ implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.

**Profitability and Returns**

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. CPB has an EBITDA margin of 11.99%, this implies that the underlying business of CPB is more profitable. The ROI of CPB is 19.20% while that of ZUMZ is 7.50%. These figures suggest that CPB ventures generate a higher ROI than that of ZUMZ.

**Cash Flow**

The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, CPB’s free cash flow per share is a positive 2.13.

**Liquidity and Financial Risk**

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The current ratio for CPB is 0.70 and that of ZUMZ is 2.90. This implies that it is easier for CPB to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than ZUMZ. The debt ratio of CPB is 7.01 compared to 0.01 for ZUMZ. CPB can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than ZUMZ.

**Valuation**

CPB currently trades at a forward P/E of 15.45, a P/B of 9.07, and a P/S of 1.51 while ZUMZ trades at a forward P/E of 15.52, a P/B of 1.91, and a P/S of 0.69. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, CPB is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

**Analyst Price Targets and Opinions**

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of CPB is currently at a 16.96% to its one-year price target of 36.15. Looking at its rival pricing, ZUMZ is at a -1.45% relative to its price target of 27.50.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), CPB is given a 3.20 while 2.40 placed for ZUMZ. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for CPB stocks.

**Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment**

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for CPB is 6.32 while that of ZUMZ is just 5.46. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for ZUMZ stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Campbell Soup Company defeats that of Zumiez Inc. when the two are compared, with CPB taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. CPB happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, CPB is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for CPB is better on when it is viewed on short interest.